You are not alone.

August 16 2015

So that subject line is apparently one of the most opened subject lines, but I never had a reason to use it…until now! If you mentally squint, then it may be relevant to the rest of this email. Maybe.

Who is this:
I’m an Egyptian who learned English while living in Japan. I’m currently living in Toronto, Canada after being kicked out of New York City.

I didn’t get kicked out for cool reasons - like running an underground dumpling operation, or something. It mostly had to do with paperwork, and timelines. However - getting “kicked out” has been the best thing to happen to me so far.

I'm 25 years old. I’ve had a good life by definition. I have a family that loves me. I got to live in different countries. I got to be part of a failed startup. I am now with a successful startup. I’ve got a great group of friends (who I should be better to). And I have so many opportunities.

So why do I doubt myself? Why am I constantly fluctuating between thinking I’ve got everything figured out, and I’ve got nothing figured out? Purpose? Value? One of my best friends described this as just being in your 20s. I don’t know if it will stop - and to be honest I don’t know if I want it to stop. It’s tedious, it keeps me up at night - but It feels human.

Dealing with bad situations:
I have a tendency to smile when I talk about bad things that have happened to me. I'm not sure why, but maybe this explains it:

I’m not owed anything. I was born naked into this world. When something "bad" happens to me - I don't think it's an inherently bad, or malicious thing. It is just a thing that has happened that has resulted in me being sad/upset. So the adversary that I'm fighting isn't this external cause which I have little-to-no control over. Instead it's about how I handle my emotions, and my response to this circumstance - which is completely within my control. I may not always get the result I want - but, hey, I wasn't owed it to begin with. :)

- People older than 25 - what’s one thing that you’ve come to learn that you would tell someone in their mid-20s that you don't think they'd know, but should just trust you on. Not that younger people don’t have any wisdom to impart - but I do believe some things are learned by time alone.

- To everyone on the list: Where do you live? If you love it, why should I live there? If you hate it, why should I not live there?

Fun things:
Favourite website ever: whosampled[dot]com. Discover music through samples, covers, and remixes.

I love getting glimpses into complete stranger’s lives (in a non-creepy way). Even if it’s the most mundane thing, I still find it interesting. If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, take a photo of something from your point-of-view with the hashtag #glimpsemoment, and maybe we can all get little glimpses into each other’s lives.

Shameful plug:
Two hours before I got the email that I won Listserve, I was thinking about how I was going to get my side project in front of some eyeballs. This seems like the type of opportunity that I should not turn down from the universe. It's called Suto (asksuto[dot]com) and it helps you search for products you’re looking to buy - via text message. Check it out if you're looking to buy something!

Thank you for listening. I really do mean that.

Karim El Rabiey
[email protected]
Toronto, ON, Canada

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